Canadian housing starts trend increased in June

OTTAWA, July 11, 2017 — The trend in housing starts was 215,459 units in June 2017, compared to 214,570 units in May 2017, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). This trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts.

“The trend in housing starts for Canada reached its highest level in almost five years”, said Bob Dugan, CMHC’s chief economist. “So far this year, all regions are on pace to surpass construction levels from 2016 except for British Columbia, where starts have declined year-to-date after reaching near-record levels last summer.”

Monthly Highlights

Prince Edward Island

Prince Edwards Island’s housing starts continued to trend up during the month of June. Starts of single family homes have been particularly strong the first six months of this year, up 97 per cent compared the same period in 2016.

Québec CMA

In June, housing starts trended higher in Québec as a result of the construction of a large condominium project. However, in the conventional rental housing segment, year-to-date results show a 22 per cent decrease in housing starts compared to the same period in 2016. This decrease can be explained, in part, by the period of strong activity observed in this segment in 2015 and 2016 and the rise in the vacancy rate.

Toronto

The total housing starts trend in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) remained virtually unchanged in June compared to the previous month. The pace of new home construction has been stable across all housing forms. A minor decline in the single-detached starts trend was offset by gains in the multi-family sector. Glancing further back, construction of ground-oriented homes, which includes single-detached, semis and town homes, have gained momentum throughout 2017, as housing starts so far this year have reached a five-year high. Limited resale supply in combination with strong home buying demand in Toronto have led more buyers to purchase pre-construction units.

Barrie

Higher trending single-detached and row starts have pushed Barrie’s total housing starts up for the second month in June. Demand for new homes continued to fuel home starts in the town of Innisfil instead of the land-scarce city of Barrie. The town of Innisfil has become the prime location for the construction of low and medium-density homes in the Barrie CMA.

Oshawa

Oshawa had a record level of seasonally adjusted starts in June 2017, the pace of construction being nearly three times higher than the average seen over the past three years. While all housing types saw increases in June, the row and apartment segments were the clear leaders. Price weary buyers from the Toronto CMA continue to fuel demand for new homes in Oshawa.

Fort McMurray/Wood Buffalo

Fort McMurray has experienced strong rebuilding activity after the wildfires last May. Since January, 785 housing starts have been recorded, twice as many as in the last two years combined. The majority of these new starts have been replacement single detached homes.

Victoria

Housing starts trended higher in the Victoria CMA last month as new rental projects were initiated in Langford. Total starts for 2017 remain elevated but reduced from the record-setting pace last year. Multi-unit starts have been sluggish to date compared to singles, which are slightly above expectation. However, multi-unit construction remains elevated at 30 per cent above the five-year average. Developers will be keeping an eye on how the market responds to a higher completion rate going forward.

Vancouver

Vancouver CMA housing starts trended downwards in June, driven by a decrease in apartment starts. In the first six months of 2017, there were 880 ownership apartment starts in the City Vancouver, compared with 3,290 in the first half of 2016. Given the strong housing starts activity in the past year and the record number of units now under construction, it is not surprising to see starts trend downward according to industry capacity.

CMHC uses the trend measure as a complement to the monthly SAAR of housing starts to account for considerable swings in monthly estimates and obtain a more complete picture of Canada’s housing market. In some situations analyzing only SAAR data can be misleading, as they are largely driven by the multi-unit segment of the market which can vary significantly from one month to the next.

The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 212,695 units in June, up from 194,955 units in May. The SAAR of urban starts increased by 9.6 per cent in June to 194,773 units. Multiple urban starts increased by 9.4 per cent to 127,944 units in June and single-detached urban starts increased by 10.1 per cent, to 66,829 units.

Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17,922 units.

Preliminary Housing Starts data are also available in English and French through our website and through CMHC’s Housing Market Information Portal. Our analysts are also available to provide further insight into their respective markets.

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers objective housing research and information to Canadian governments, consumers and the housing industry.

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Information on this release:

CMHC media relations

National
Jonathan Rotondo
CMHC Media Relations
613-748-2734
jrotondo@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Atlantic
Katherine LeBlanc
902-789-5709
krleblan@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Quebec
Étienne Campeau
514-496-5458
ecampeau@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Ontario
Angelina Ritacco
416-218-3320
aritacco@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Prairies
Courtney Gillis
403-515-3012
cgillis@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

British Columbia
Jeanette Wilkinson
604-737-4007
jpwilkin@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

Additional data is available upon request.

 
Preliminary Housing Start Data in Centres 10,000 Population and Over
  Single-Detached All Others Total
June 2016 June 2017 % June 2016 June 2017 % June 2016 June 2017 %
Provinces (10,000+)  
N.-L. 90 71 -21 27 43 59 117 114 -3
P.E.I. 13 29 123 14 77 450 27 106 293
N.S. 130 147 13 248 53 -79 378 200 -47
N.B. 82 106 29 33 63 91 115 169 47
Atlantic 315 353 12 322 236 -27 637 589 -8
Qc 819 740 -10 2,404 2,708 13 3,223 3,448 7
Ont. 3,062 3,114 2 4,930 4,204 -15 7,992 7,318 -8
Man. 170 259 52 203 271 33 373 530 42
Sask. 198 204 3 185 210 14 383 414 8
Alta. 844 1,277 51 1,103 1,336 21 1,947 2,613 34
Prairies 1,212 1,740 44 1,491 1,817 22 2,703 3,557 32
B.C. 881 1,001 14 3,213 2,204 -31 4,094 3,205 -22
Canada (10,000+) 6,289 6,948 10 12,360 11,169 -10 18,649 18,117 -3
Metropolitan Areas  
Abbotsford-Mission 42 34 -19 64 233 264 106 267 152
Barrie 137 125 -9 135 86 -36 272 211 -22
Belleville ** 48 ## ** 2 ## ** 50 ##
Brantford 14 4 -71 5 45 ## 19 49 158
Calgary 339 445 31 491 945 92 830 1,390 67
Edmonton 335 570 70 541 261 -52 876 831 -5
Greater Sudbury 33 17 -48 5 14 180 38 31 -18
Guelph 29 31 7 161 29 -82 190 60 -68
Halifax 66 98 48 219 12 -95 285 110 -61
Hamilton 84 101 20 235 105 -55 319 206 -35
Kelowna 62 77 24 55 134 144 117 211 80
Kingston 38 39 3 12 201 ## 50 240 380
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 180 93 -48 244 150 -39 424 243 -43
Lethbridge ** 41 ## ** 17 ## ** 58 ##
London 175 229 31 338 336 -1 513 565 10
Moncton 37 42 14 20 30 50 57 72 26
Montréal 304 314 3 1,172 1,121 -4 1,476 1,435 -3
Oshawa 249 160 -36 189 438 132 438 598 37
Ottawa-Gatineau 292 318 9 323 401 24 615 719 17
Gatineau 38 8 -79 52 73 40 90 81 -10
Ottawa 254 310 22 271 328 21 525 638 22
Peterborough 47 43 -9 50 11 -78 97 54 -44
Québec 84 107 27 467 1,118 139 551 1,225 122
Regina 90 68 -24 80 117 46 170 185 9
Saguenay 25 18 -28 12 8 -33 37 26 -30
St. Catharines-Niagara 149 124 -17 61 84 38 210 208 -1
Saint John 21 20 -5 0 0 - 21 20 -5
St. John's 70 51 -27 23 39 70 93 90 -3
Saskatoon 95 119 25 87 79 -9 182 198 9
Sherbrooke 49 59 20 41 46 12 90 105 17
Thunder Bay 29 21 -28 12 24 100 41 45 10
Toronto 1,086 1,059 -2 2,962 2,108 -29 4,048 3,167 -22
Trois-Rivières 37 31 -16 56 31 -45 93 62 -33
Vancouver 462 454 -2 2,535 1,515 -40 2,997 1,969 -34
Victoria 81 85 5 398 194 -51 479 279 -42
Windsor 118 108 -8 45 50 11 163 158 -3
Winnipeg 153 231 51 191 265 39 344 496 44
Total 5,012 5,384 7 11,229 10,249 -9 16,241 15,633 -4

Data for 2016 based on 2011 Census Definitions.
Data for 2017 based on 2016 Census Definitions.
Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC

** Belleville and Lethbridge were not metropolitan areas in 2016.
## not calculable/extreme value

Preliminary Housing Start Data — Seasonally Adjusted at Annual Rates (SAAR)  
  Single-Detached All Others Total
May 2017 June 2017 % May 2017 June 2017 % May 2017 June 2017 %
Provinces (10,000+)  
N.L. 477 532 12 196 492 151 673 1,024 52
P.E.I. 337 240 -29 216 924 328 553 1,164 110
N.S. 1,185 1,340 13 2,582 657 -75 3,767 1,997 -47
N.B. 721 755 5 948 641 -32 1,669 1,396 -16
Qc 5,772 6,098 6 22,014 29,938 36 27,786 36,036 30
Ont. 22,495 27,901 24 29,291 48,019 64 51,786 75,920 47
Man. 3,182 2,943 -8 6,972 3,252 -53 10,154 6,195 -39
Sask. 1,810 1,805 0 2,568 2,520 -2 4,378 4,325 -1
Alta. 13,523 14,225 5 17,595 15,212 -14 31,118 29,437 -5
B.C. 11,222 10,990 -2 34,616 26,289 -24 45,838 37,279 -19
Canada (10,000+) 60,724 66,829 10 116,998 127,944 9 177,722 194,773 10
Canada (All Areas) 73,408 80,080 9 121,546 132,617 9 194,955 212,695 9
Metropolitan Areas  
Abbotsford-Mission 521 447 -14 1,068 2,796 162 1,589 3,243 104
Barrie 1,012 810 -20 900 1,032 15 1,912 1,842 -4
Belleville 359 430 20 264 24 -91 623 454 -27
Brantford 368 60 -84 816 540 -34 1,184 600 -49
Calgary 4,783 4,995 4 7,056 11,340 61 11,839 16,335 38
Edmonton 5,832 6,029 3 9,636 3,132 -67 15,468 9,161 -41
Greater Sudbury 163 109 -33 0 168 ## 163 277 70
Guelph 337 201 -40 252 348 38 589 549 -7
Halifax 689 889 29 2,148 144 -93 2,837 1,033 -64
Hamilton 260 858 230 1,524 1,260 -17 1,784 2,118 19
Kelowna 1,077 995 -8 4,500 1,608 -64 5,577 2,603 -53
Kingston 311 290 -7 204 2,412 ## 515 2,702 425
Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo 1,371 767 -44 2,208 1,800 -18 3,579 2,567 -28
Lethbridge 497 460 -7 168 204 21 665 664 0
London 1,407 1,784 27 1,140 4,032 254 2,547 5,816 128
Moncton 253 281 11 1,080 360 -67 1,333 641 -52
Montréal 2,789 2,702 -3 17,996 13,376 -26 20,785 16,078 -23
Oshawa 708 1,202 70 240 5,256 ## 948 6,458 ##
Ottawa-Gatineau 2,162 2,663 23 6,264 4,812 -23 8,426 7,475 -11
Gatineau 355 84 -76 1,104 876 -21 1,459 960 -34
Ottawa 1,807 2,579 43 5,160 3,936 -24 6,967 6,515 -6
Peterborough 263 294 12 96 132 38 359 426 19
Québec 662 903 36 3,504 13,416 283 4,166 14,319 244
Regina 693 591 -15 2,280 1,404 -38 2,973 1,995 -33
Saguenay 183 119 -35 348 96 -72 531 215 -60
St. Catharines-Niagara 1,347 1,351 0 768 1,008 31 2,115 2,359 12
Saint John 154 128 -17 0 0 - 154 128 -17
St. John's 335 389 16 156 468 200 491 857 75
Saskatoon 984 1,079 10 144 948 ## 1,128 2,027 80
Sherbrooke 317 350 10 1,020 552 -46 1,337 902 -33
Thunder Bay 105 111 6 528 288 -45 633 399 -37
Toronto 6,953 10,688 54 15,552 25,296 63 22,505 35,984 60
Trois-Rivières 135 199 47 432 372 -14 567 571 1
Vancouver 4,869 4,798 -1 24,252 18,180 -25 29,121 22,978 -21
Victoria 966 851 -12 1,260 2,328 85 2,226 3,179 43
Windsor 830 954 15 252 600 138 1,082 1,554 44
Winnipeg 2,628 2,538 -3 5,856 3,180 -46 8,484 5,718 -33

Data based on 2016 Census Definitions.
Source: Market Analysis Centre, CMHC
## not calculable / extreme value

Canada

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